'Clemente Effect' has local touch
TribLIVE Sports Videos
When ESPN airs its latest full length documentary. The Clemente Effect, on Sunday, there will certainly be a local flavor in the air.
The film, which deals with the life accomplishments and struggles of the late Pirate star and Hall of Famer, will be shown 4:30 p.m. on ESPN.
A segment of the movie will include taping that was done at Ringgold Elementary School North in November.
RESN teacher Joe Ravasio spearheaded the effort to bring the film crew to the school because of his long-standing interest in the life of Clemente.
That interest led him to visit Clemente Park, a sports complex built in Puerto Rico. During that visit, he was able to meet with Clemente's widow, Vera, and two of his sons.
“I went there about five years ago because I wanted to see just what Major League Baseball put together there in (Clemente's) honor. I wanted to see that ball park,” Ravasio said. “While I was there, I met with Vera and two of her sons. We had a nice talk and she invited me up to their home for lunch and I spent some time visiting. It was a memorable experience.”
Ravasio also met with the family three years ago when they were at California University as part of a museum exhibit there for Clemente.
Clemente died in a tragic plane crash New Year's Eve 1972 trying to bring supplies to earthquake ravaged Nicaragua. His death happened just months after he got his 3,000th and last career hit.
Ravasio said he is friends with Laura Magone, who works in the communications business and did some work for Duquesne University.
He said that she contacted ESPN about Ravasio's relationship with the Clementes and when ESPN agreed to come to the school, Ravasio thought it was a better idea to feature the school, faculty and students instead of himself.
“We had Roberto Clemente Day and every grade level at the school put together its own theme based on either the Pirates, Clemente or Puerto Rico,” Ravasio said. “Everyone did a tremendous job. It was really nice and when ESPN came there to film, things went really well.
“I'm not sure how much of what they taped will be in the movie, but I saw a trailer on it and it looked pretty good.”
Ravasio said ESPN spent time talking to two of the school's teachers, Katie Kline and Earl Gilpin, because other Clemente connections.
Kline's father was a plumber at Forbes Field and Clemente gave him a baseball bat. Gilpin had a game jersey from a minor league team Clemente played for when he was in the Dodgers' organization before the Pirates obtained him.
“I'm really excited to see the finished product, to see the story they tell about Roberto Clemente and how much of an effect their visit to our school had on the project,” Ravasio said.
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Technology helps VA Pittsburgh expand ability to serve veterans
- Elsie Hillman, philanthropist and one-time GOP powerhouse, dies at 89
- Man accused in crash that killed Export driver rejects plea offer
- Steelers defensive end Tuitt shifts into high gear
- Baldwin Borough man pleads guilty in white supremacist bombs case
- Suspect in Dormont robbery caught after he falls into storm-swollen creek
- Uniontown man shot in head still in coma, 3 suspects sought
- Inbound Parkway West to close Friday night through early Monday
- Rossi: Pirates foolish to bet on Burnett return
- Westmoreland girl tells trooper a stranger fondled her in Herminie alley
- Groups appeal Shell air permit for Beaver County project